Ba Dua Jin- 8 piece brocade: Taoist Longevity exercises.
These exercises were first used by military generals of ancient China along
with the hard weapon training regimens. These calisthenics were used to
balance and heal the body from over training their troops.
There are classical and modern variations of Ba dua jin. I will share both.
The very first Chinese exercises I learned before Taijiquan was Ba Dua Jin as preparation for training. This was back in 1990 at a free “Taiji in the park” class taught by Wilson Pitts in Richmond’s Maymont Park.
This was a classical Taoist variation with influence from Huashan a sacred mountain region in China.
8 Piece Brocade
1. Complete Breath- hold up heaven
2. press hands- yin yang palm
3. hold ball- twist upper body
4. Roll like a wave.
5. Twist the spine, look back, and press palms out.
6. Tilting the Scale
7. Clasp hands, bending waist, finish with raise hands.
8. Swing arms to loosen body.
China from one of my early Taiji teachers Xianhao Cheng. It is performed more so as a Qigong. Xianhao taught this to me around 2002.
The sections are as follows:
1. Hold heaven and adjust internal organs
2. Open the bow, Shoot the Eagle.
3. Hold up Arms to adjust spleen and stomach
4. Watch Behind to heal many hurts.
5. Get power by watching and punching
6. Hold the Feet to strengthen the kidneys.
7. Turn head and tailbone to extinguish the heart fire.
8. Raise the toes.
This classical variation of Ba Dua Jin comes from Gao Baguzhang.
This is however something I learned back around 2006 when I trained with
Luo DeXiu’s student George Wood in Arlington Virginia. This is complied from
notes as the BaDuaJin was mixed in with the warm-ups.
Exercises are as from notes:
Neck, Wrists, and open the kua drill.
Ba Dua Jin:
1. Hold Heaven- stretch the thumbs version.
2. Pull Bow- continue with thumb stretch.
3. Side stretch- gently open the rib.
4. Twisting Spine stretch
5. Spinal Wave
6. Bear Gazes backward
7. Hold the ball and twist, ball gets bigger each time and smaller.
8. Climb the mountain stance.
This particular modern version was taught by a Chinese Wushu teacher under direction of the organization that collects, studies, and standardizes many of the ancient qigong practices for health preservation. It is now considered the “Standard” in Mainland China.
This newer modernized method has a “Taiji” flow to it. Flowing to link each exercise to exercise. A qigong specialist from Beijing Qigong Institute taught this in 2012 at USWA in Fairfax Va.
The Ba Duan Jin translates as “8 Piece of Brocade”.
These 8 pieces are:
1. Two hands hold heaven.
2. Draw the Bow
3. Separate Heaven and Earth.
4. Wise Owl Looks back.
5. Sway Head, Shake Tail.
6. Two Hands Hold feet and strengthen kidneys and waist.
7. Punch fist and Widen the eyes.
8. Raise up on Toes/half way come down/drop the Heels.
We start with a bow, followed by “holding the one” standing posture. Close with a bow and salute.